Back-to-Back (Hardcastle and McCormick fanzine)

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Title: Back-to-Back
Publisher: Intertwined Press/Delta Triad Productions
Editor(s): Melinda Reynolds
Date(s): 1985-1989
Medium: print
Fandom: Hardcastle and McCormick
Language: English
External Links:
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Back-to-Back is a gen Hardcastle and McCormick anthology. In addition to the six regular issues, there are five supplements, two addendum, and a Christmas special.

The Regular Issues

Back-to-Back 1

front cover of issue #1 by Caren Parnes
back cover of issue #1
a 1985 flyer
another 1985 flyer

Back to Back 1 was published in March 1985 and contains 13 stories and poems and a crossword puzzle. The fanzine is 106 pages and has front and back covers by Caren Parnes.

  • Background Info: Hardcastle by Melinda Reynolds (1)
  • Background Info: McCormick by Melinda Reynolds (3)
  • A Matter of Routine by Lizabeth S. Tucker ("Hardcastle returns from a court case to find Gulls Way ripped off, and the gatehouse vandalized. After clearing McCormick, they team up with a lady officer and her partner to track down the crooks.") (10)
  • Changes in Latitude, Changes in Attitude by Lizabeth S. Tucker ("In an attempt to wangle a job from a suspected murderer, McCormick is injured in a demo derby, & Hardcastle has to put his investigation on the sidelines. Meanwhile, a parole officer is questioning the legality of Mark's parole and his involvement in the Judge's cases.") (sequel in the next issue) (29)
  • Honor and Loyalty by Lizabeth S. Tucker ("Hardcastle aids the CIA in capturing a renegade CIA agent suspected of selling out to the Soviets, by setting up McCormick as a decoy. But plans go awry, and during a shootout, a head wound leaves McCormick believing he's 17, with no memory of anyone or anything past 1971.") (64)
  • A Dialogue for One by Judy Darnell—Poem. (103)
  • Arizona Modifieds, a Postscript by Judy Darnell—Poem. (104)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

The editor sets the tone for this HARDCASTLE & MCCORMICK

zine right up front; don’t expect Great Literature, just fannish stories written for HtMC fans. The zine achieves its own goals in three fairly interesting stories (all Mark McConick get-ems, all written by Liz Tucker), transcripts of interviews with the two actors, a pair of character sketches, the lyrics of the show’s these songs, and other miscellania.

Liz Tucker’s writing skills have grown since her S&H days. The plots here evolve smoothly, with some welcome twists and intriguing situations (such as the climax of "A Matter of Routine” in a pen of semi-wild rodeo broncos). The dialogue is mostly true to the characters, and sore of it is inspired and (intentionally) funny. Though the radical premises in "Honor and Loyalty” are doubtful (the editor acknowledges this and says the story was written mostly "for fun”), the story is worth reading for the unexpected aspects of McComick's character at ages 17, 24, and 30.

"Changes in Latitude, Changes in Attitude" sets up a psychological drama in which Mark ends up a torture victim, but the emotional problems are left unresolved (tune in for the sequel, we're told, in the next issue).

A problem I have with the stories is that they set up emotion-charged hurt/comfort scenes, but cut almost immediately back to the investigation plotline or a humorous tag. This doesn’t work in a fan story, where the readers expect to dig into the feelings that the tv series only hints at. Maybe the sequel to "Changes in Latitude” will deliver that.

Artwork ranges from beautiful (Caren Parnes’ covers) to so-so; so does the repro, though everything is readable. For a H&C fan, the zine is worth the price. [1]

Back-to-Back 2

Back-to-Back 2 has some Riptide content. It was published in November/December 1985 and contains 120 pages.

front cover of issue #2 by Caren Parnes

The art is by Caren Parnes (front cover), Ann Larimer, Ruth Kurz, and Melinda Reynolds.

  • Background Info: Cody Allen by Carlotta Vaughn (Riptide) (1)
  • Background Info: Nick Ryder by Carlotta Vaughn (Riptide) (2)
  • Background Info: Murray Bozinsky by Carlotta Vaughn (Riptide) (4)
  • The Technicolor Nightmare by Cathy L. Bryson ("The son and daughter of a serviceman killed in Vietnam blame Nick and Cody for their father's death and want revenge.") (Riptide)(6)
  • Confession is Good for the Soul by Carlotta Vaughn ("Cody and Boz accept a case while Nick is away at guard camp, and on his return he angrily informs them that the agency is working for a loan shark operation.") (Riptide) (26)
  • Crossword (Riptide) (37)
  • View from the Contessa, poem by Carlotta Vaughn (Riptide) (39)
  • Not Lookin' to be Buddies by Judy Darnell ("In San Francisco on their first case after "Rolling Thunder", Mark and the Judge learn just what they can expect from each other.") (Hardcastle & McCormick) (40)
  • Nothing Remains Quite the Same by Lizabeth S. Tucker (Sequel to "Changes In Latitude, Changes In Attitude". "McCormick is removed from Hardcastle's custody as the parole and probation board try to determine if the Judge's war on crime is placing McCormick in undue danger.") (Hardcastle & McCormick) (69)
  • Some You Win, Some You Lose by Judy Darnell ("A rapist-murderer has killed the daughter of an old friend of Hardcastle's and the Judge involves himself in the police investigation. The killer is currently tracking his next victim, a young woman whom he believes lives at Gulls Way." (Hardcastle & McCormick) (94)
  • And That's the Best Present of All, poem by Judy Darnell (Hardcastle & McCormick) (118)
  • All the Songs My Father Never Sang, poem by Judy Darnell (Hardcastle & McCormick) (119)
  • The Young Man and the Old, poem by Judy Darnell (Hardcastle & McCormick) (120)

Back-to-Back 3

Back-To-Back 3 was published in the summer of 1986 and contains 135 pages. Caren Parnes is the front cover artist.

front cover of issue #3, Caren Parnes
back cover of issue #3
  • The Prophecy by Sandra Hanson ("During his racing days with Flip Johnson, McCormick attends a Halloween party with some friends; while there, a Tarot deck reveals his possible future, which he refuses to believe. (2)
  • Soul Play by Lizabeth Tucker ("While visiting the Haunted House exhibit at a Charity Fair, the evil spirit of the long-dead Spencer Milligan attempts to return to life by 'possessing' McCormick.") (also in Psychic Investigations #1) (6)
  • Mersilde by Judy Darnell ("Hardcastle unknowingly purchases an ancient mirror at an estate auction. Imprisoned by a warlock within the mirror is the demon Mersilde, who seeks escape through the lifeforce of another.") (41)
  • The Thief and the Magician by Lizabeth Tucker ("A local carnival is closing down, as several children have disappeared from its grounds without a trace. The Judge and Mark are there on the last day, and are inexplicably transported to a "Dungeons and Dragons" type universe, and cannot leave until their 'quest' is completed.") (86)

Back-to-Back 4

front cover of issue #4
front cover of issue #4, a no frills edition
back cover of issue #4

Back-To-Back 4 was published in Summer 1988 and contains 134 pages. Front and back covers are by Kate Nuernberg.

  • The Ties that Bind by Judy Darnell (1)
  • Reparations by Lizabeth S. Tucker (reprinted in expanded form from Scenario #1) (31)
  • All's Fair in Love and War by D.D. Brischke (61)
  • Payback by Lizabeth S. Tucker (79)
  • Sentence Executed by Alison Wilson (109)
  • Justin by Alison Wilson (111)
  • Seal of Approval by Alison Wilson—Mark's mother meets the Judge. AU. (115)
  • The Late Return by Linda Wood (117)
  • Update: H&McC Fiction by Melinda Reynolds (119)
  • Journal Entries by Lizabeth Tucker & Rowena Warner (126)

Back-to-Back 5

Back-to-Back 5

  • In Your Shadow by Melinda Reynolds
  • other unknown content

Back-to-Back 6

Back-to-Back 6

  • Where the Wild Wind Blows by Judy Darnell
  • Kindred Spirits by Melinda Reynolds
  • Especially McCormick by Wood
  • Both Sides Now by Melinda Reynolds and Judy Darnell
  • other unknown content

The Supplements

In between each issue of Back to Back, these supplements were published to showcase shorter stories by the same authors in the regular issues.

Supplement 1

Back-to-Back Supplement 1 was published in 1986 and is 83 pages long.

front cover of supplement #1
back cover of supplement #1
  • Today is the First Day of the Rest of Your Life by Teri White (1)
  • Dialog Between Scorpion and Scorpio by Melinda Reynolds (7)
  • Lip Service by Lizabeth Tucker (10)
  • Learning to Live with Losing by Lizabeth Tucker (12)
  • Tequila Sunrise by Judy Darnell (22)
  • Winner Takes All by Melinda Reynolds (44)
  • Double or Nothing by Melinda Reynolds (49)

Supplement 2

Back-to-Back Supplement 2 was published in Aug/Sept 1986 and contains 98 pages. There were 100 copies printed.

cover of supplement 2
  • Ready to Begin Again by Judy Darnell (3)
  • Testing the Ground by Teri White (5)
  • Everything Old is New Again by Judy Darnell ("Mark goes home to see his dying grandmother.") (11)
  • Sometimes I Feel Like a Fatherless Child by Teri White (45)
  • It's the Thought That Counts by Teri White (48)
  • New Game in Town by Sandra Hanson (51)
  • A Little Magic by Shirley Sipe (53)
  • Time in a Bottle by Lizabeth S. Tucker (59)
  • Chronology by Kathy Costello (74)

Supplement 3

Back-to-Back Supplement 3 was published in December 1986 and contains 87 pages.

front cover of supplement 3
back cover of supplement 3
  • Too Late for Regrets by Linda Wood (2)
  • Photographs and Memories by Judy Darnell (4)
  • Yesterday, When I was Young by Judy Darnell—Mark and Hardcastle are captured by a delusional Vietnam veteran. (25)
  • Love and Loving by Lizabeth S. Tucker (47)
  • The Crash by Lizabeth S. Tucker (52)
  • Anything I Own by L. Tucker and M. Reynolds (55)

Supplement 4

Back-to-Back Supplement 4

  • unknown content.

Supplement 5

Back-to-Back Supplement 5 contains 108 pages.

From Media Monitor:

Contains the following fiction: Hardcastle appropriates the unused with given to McCormick by the Leprechauns; An argument, a stormy day, and borrowed car result in a near-fatal accident wherein McCormick has a near-dath experience -- and discovers that angels aren't what he expected them to be... and neither is the judge; Hardcastle finds that truck buying ain't what it used to be.

  • What are Friends For, Anyway? by Melinda Reynolds (1)
  • Still Truckin' by Melinda Reynolds (33)
  • Sometimes the Dreamer by Linda Wood and William Kounter (51)

The Addendums

Sometimes stories came in after the current issue of Back to Back had gone to print, and not wanting to wait another full year to get these stories into the hands of eager fans, the editor decided to put out one- or two-story addenda zines.

Addendum 1

cover of Addenda #1

Back-to-Back Addenda 1 was published in 1987 and contains 61 pages and four stories.

Addendum 2

Back-to-Back Addenda 2 was published in 1989 and contains 45 pages.

cover of Addenda #2
  • The Spy That Came in from Clarence by D.D. Brischke—Hardcastle's female cousin comes to visit Los Angeles and gets involved with crooks and a Russian spy. (1)
  • Outside Looking In by A.L. Goss—Hardcastle waits for Mark to wake up in "If You Could See What I See". (29)
  • Just to Have You Back Again by Angela Rivieccio (41)

Addendum 3

Back-to-Back Addenda 3 was published in 1989 and revised in 2002. It contains 86 pages.

cover of Addenda #3
  • What are Friends For, Anyway? by Melinda Reynolds (1)
  • Xanthon, Demon of Duplicity by Melinda Reynolds (25)

Special Issue: Christmas at Gull's Way

cover of Gull's Way

Back-to-Back: Christmas At Gulls Way was published in December 1987 and contains 100 pages. It is a special edition, a collection of holiday fic.

The original print run was 100.

  1. ^ from Word on the Street #9 (June 1985)